Ulinzi soldier on, ‘Ingwe’ strike

Saturday September 24 2011

Mohammed Amin | NATION Western Stima’s Dennis Okangi (centre) battles for the ball with Ulinzi Stars duo of Josiah Othimbo (right) and Steve Ochola during their Kenyan Premier League match at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on September 24, 2011. Ulinzi won 2-1.

Mohammed Amin | NATION Western Stima’s Dennis Okangi (centre) battles for the ball with Ulinzi Stars duo of Josiah Othimbo (right) and Steve Ochola during their Kenyan Premier League match at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on September 24, 2011. Ulinzi won 2-1. 

By Odindo Ayieko [email protected] and Francis Mureithi [email protected]

Soldiers Ulinzi Stars ominously marched closer to the league title with a 2-1 win over Western Stima at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru, while stuttering Gor Mahia squandered a 2-0 lead to draw with Kenya Commercial Bank in Nairobi.

In Awendo, AFC Leopards continued their fine run with an emphatic 3-0 win over Sony Sugar.

Gor, winless in their past six matches, showed their urgency at Nyayo National Stadium as they dictated the early exchanges.

Striker Wycliffe Ochomo proved wasteful but the moment came in the 36th minute when Collins Okoth put Gor ahead from a spot kick after referee Isaac Ochieng awarded K’Ogalo a penalty.

It arose after Gor were awarded a free kick from the edge of the box.

Moses Odhiambo, starting for the first time in seven games, released Eric Masika but Eugene Asike tagged him from behind and the referee pointed to the spot. Okoth stepped up to ease the early jitters.

Masika then put himself in the scoresheet, tapping home a Tony Onyango cross in the 55th minute.

Elvys Ayany capitalised on a defence blunder to pull one back for the bankers in the 62nd minute.

KCB again capitalised on another defence error for John Omuse to equalise in the 80th minute.

Leopards’ impressive turn around continued with an emphatic 3-0 victory at a rain-lashed stadium.

Oscar Kadenge latched on to a weighed cross from Bernard Mang’oli to score a brilliant opener.

Shaken home team

Leopards continued to press on against a shaken home team and were rewarded when Francis Chinjili’s goal-bound shot from 20 metres out hit the upright and Charles Okwemba easily taped in the rebound in the 13th minute.

Second half was delayed for nearly an hour because of a waterlogged pitch but officials decided to let the game proceed after scrutiny and consultation amongst themselves.

Five minutes to the hour, Kadenge banged in the third for Ingwe after some brilliant piece of solo effort by Salim Ramadhan.

In Nakuru, international Stephen Waruru scored his sixth goal of the season to lead Ulinzi to 2-1 victory against visiting Stima.

Following their victory, the marching soldiers increased the point tally to 44 and moved to within a point behind table leaders Tusker FC.

The enterprising Waruru, who was the darling of the crowd,  used his shooting boots as early as in the eighth minute when he breezed past two Stima defenders on the left wing and unleashed a sizzling shot past goalkeeper David Juma.

The Henry Omino-coached side regrouped in the 22nd minute and Alloise Mangi levelled the scores.

It was a blunder by Ulinzi custodian Jackton Odhiambo who  misjudged the shot for a cross.

As Odhaimbo was busy shouting orders from his area, Mangi slotted in an easy goal to level matters at the interval.

Ulinzi introduced George Otieno for the tired Lawrence “Madilu” Owino in the second half. This move paid dividends when the swift Otieno fired home the winner in the 74th minute following a goalmouth melee.

‘Put a lot of pressure on us’

“This result has put a lot of pressure on us as we had expected to bounced back in this game following our 5–0 drubbing by Sofapaka last weekend,” said Stima coach Henry Omino.

Ulinzi tactician Ben Nyangweso said: “It was not an easy game and we knew we would struggle as they had been wounded a week earlier and, as you know, a wounded animal is more dangerous and can cause a lot of havoc if not tamed.”